It was the final seconds of the first half that the Spokane Shadow would most like to forget as it closed out its inaugural season.
That’s when the Seattle Hammers scored twice in just a 56-second span to take a two-goal lead in an eventual 5-1 win Friday night at Spokane Falls Community College in front of an estimated 2,000 spectators.
Spokane finished at 4-8.
“I think those two goals really hurt us,” said Spokane assistant coach Damon Hagerott, who was called on to pinch hit when the team learned head coach Einar Thorarinsson was stuck in Alaska due to plane delays.
“They changed the complexion of the game.”
The first goal came after Hammer defenseman Lane Jerdal fired a hard shot on goal. Spokane’s Chris Stiles, standing next to the near post, tried to knock the shot away with his foot, but deflected the ball into the goal.
With 17 seconds left, Seattle’s Kyle Godat dribbled to the middle of the penalty box and put a high shot over the head of diving Shadow goalkeeper R.J. Merritt from 12 yards out.
“We gave up the own goal and then we had a mental lapse,” Shadow forward Chad Crithfield said. “That’s usually when another goal comes and it did.”
The second half only got worse, aside from Spokane’s one goal, scored by Crithfield. The forward caught a little luck when the ball hit a hole in the ground and changed direction.
Seattle goalkeeper Chuck Granade was leaning right and couldn’t recover in time to make the save.
Seattle scored its third goal at the 18:30 mark when Jerdal lobbed a ball in front of the goal and forward Robin Malmanger headed it in.
The final goal, scored by the visitors came with 51 seconds left on a “stampede” goal. After either team commits seven fouls in a half, the opposing team is allowed a penalty kick. Both teams line up across the midfield stripe while one offensive player lines up at the top of the center circle. The referee blows the whistle and both teams chase the player with ball, trying to stop him before he gets a shot off.
Spokane didn’t get to the shooter and Hammer midfielder Todd Stauber got the goal, beating Merritt on the left side.
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